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September 08, 2005

Thanks for the Heads-Up!

11 GOP congressmen just voted against the $51 billion relief package for flood victims. Another way of phrasing that sentence is there are 11 GOP Congressmen in the House of Representatives who no longer want their jobs -- Democratic challengers should be gearing up to take them.

September 8, 2005 | Permalink

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» This Man Has Never Missed a Meal from Daily Pepper
And he just voted against a $51-billion-dollar relief package for victims of Hurricane Katrina. I hear the chants of "just throwing money at the problem," blah blah blah, but it is going to cost way more than that to... [Read More]

Tracked on Sep 9, 2005 11:13:59 AM

» This Man Has Never Missed a Meal from Daily Pepper
And public servant Sensenbrenner of Wisconsin just voted against a $51-billion-dollar relief package for victims of Hurricane Katrina. I hear the chants of "just throwing money at the problem," blah blah blah, but it is going to cost way... [Read More]

Tracked on Sep 9, 2005 11:15:40 AM

» "An army of truth-tellers" from QandO
Remember when the Right criticized Kerry for voting against an $87 billion dollar bill to fund the troops in Iraq. The Republicans ran campaign commercials accusing John Kerry of voting "against [Read More]

Tracked on Sep 9, 2005 2:34:52 PM

Comments

Barton, Tancredo, Sensenbrenner -- whew. Shouldn't congresscritters be required to go on some kind of medical leave when their serum Thorazine levels get too high?

Posted by: sglover | Sep 8, 2005 5:57:09 PM

Um, Ezra? Look at that list again. Not one of those congressmen will lose their jobs for voting against funding for black people. Sensenbrenner? Tancredo? Joe Barton? They just boosted their re-election chances...

Posted by: Brad Plumer | Sep 8, 2005 5:57:43 PM

I dunno about that -- funding for hurricane victims is different than funbding for black people -- this isn't welfare, it's disaster relief. And I think voters -- even their voters -- are good enough and bright enough to recognize that. But then, we've already been over my Panglossian tendencies.

Posted by: Ezra | Sep 8, 2005 5:59:45 PM

Heh, but we're still talking about people who vote, every two years without fail, for Tom Tancredo. That ought to be enough to dishearten even Pangloss.

Also, on second thought, Rep. Lynn Westmoreland (R-GA) did raise a decent point: the funds probably are being dished out "without any accountability"
whatsoever. This is going to be the biggest boondoggle since John Kerry's $87 billion. Campaign donors and well-connected contractors, come on down!

That's no reason to kill relief funding obviously -- sometimes you really do just have to accept waste and no-bid contracts to get the job done -- but it's going to get ugly.

Posted by: Brad Plumer | Sep 8, 2005 6:06:11 PM

that's true, Joe Barton likes to know exactly where public funding will go before he votes on it (to his district, campaign donors). look at the energy bill.

Posted by: Graham | Sep 8, 2005 6:14:05 PM

Ron Paul is a libertarian who believes the government should never do anything to help anyone. His constituents may favorably interpret this as a vote against black people, but he's actually acting on principle.

Posted by: Cryptic Ned | Sep 8, 2005 6:30:13 PM

That sloppy cretin Sensenbrenner. That man has NEVER missed a meal. What's he know about struggle?

Sorry ... I'll simmer down ... just had to unleash at least one ad hominem attack.

If you want to see possible replacements for these hosers, check out Remove Republicans.

Posted by: Pepper | Sep 8, 2005 6:38:44 PM

I know it is fun to lambast these guys (and I really hate Sensenbrenner) but I think we may want to hold our fire a bit. The opposition may have to do more with the fact that this is a $50 BILLION spending bill that has come on the heels of a $10.5 BILLION spending bill a week ago with, apparently, little to no provisions for oversight and no time given for reading, debating, or amending it.

I know we want to help people, but really, if the GOP keeps taking billions of dollars and spending it on God knows what and in God knows what fashion there isn't going to be anything left to do it right (see Iraq). At some point you have to stop blinking in these stare down contests with the GOP. They need this bill WAY, WAY, WAY more than the Dems do politically. If Dems say "we're not giving Mike Brown $50 billion dollars without oversight" I hardly think the American public will hold it against them.

Posted by: space | Sep 8, 2005 7:39:38 PM

Josh Marshall

"Fully $50 billion of those recovery and reconstruction funds passed by Congress today are going to FEMA. FEMA is going to administer those funds. That is just friggin' crazy." To be distributed by Brown.

Marshall calls this "misguided". FEMA under Bush is about corruption, pork, and bribes. Brown is exactly the man man Bush wants to perform this job, he has a lot of experience in the field. There is no incompetence here.

Trusting Bush's good intentions, Ezra would have voted for this bill. Or what. I am getting sick to my stomach.


Posted by: bob mcmanus | Sep 8, 2005 10:39:50 PM

Just Different Clues

I am just a bitter Bush-hating madman, so somebody tell Dave Neiwert to stop agreeing with me.

Posted by: bob mcmanus | Sep 8, 2005 10:58:36 PM

Brad, Ezra,

Speaking from personal experience, the folks who vote for Tancredo do so because of sheer inertia. That is to say:

1. Tancredo's the incumbent, and there's no responsible Republican running, so what can I do? At least he's not a liberal!

2. The Dems don't have a credible challenger, and haven't for a while. The last one, Joanna Conti, while a nice soccer mom, literally stole a page from Pedro's campaign book--she really was telling voters in the Colorado 6th to vote their hopes and dreams, in so many words.

Anyway, all this to say that I suspect that Tancredo will end up suffering the same fate as Bob Dornan in '96--brief, ill-fated run for President, followed by a loss in his district. Tancredo's pretty out-of-step with his constituents, and if a more sensible Republican were to ever step in a primary against him (say, someone like Scott McInnis or Hank Brown, both of whom were very conservative, very boring Republicans), he'd likely lose.

Take it for what it's worth.

Posted by: Raf | Sep 8, 2005 11:44:35 PM

Raf -- thanks, that makes a lot of sense. Dammit, I was all excited about a district full of Tancredo fans... I mean, in a "Wow, that's freakishly gruesome" sense of the word "excited."

Posted by: Brad Plumer | Sep 9, 2005 12:04:01 AM

Bob McManus nails it, although I'd be stunned if any of the 11 actually voted no for the correct reason ...

Posted by: Lex | Sep 9, 2005 12:00:54 PM

I'm with Bob on this one:

in a couple of years, we'll be pissed about the lack of accountability in Congress as we see pork going to well-placed consultants and special interests (ok, third time: casinos) over those who need the most help and are the most displaced.

That's not the reason they voted against it, but dammit, the reason so many voted for it is the same reason that Leiberman had a 35 minute confirmation hearing with Brown. Speaking of which, I have b/t 5 and 6 pm today for his resignation in the pool.

Posted by: Chris R | Sep 9, 2005 12:47:50 PM

Democrats and Republicans alike should have refused to pass that bill until everyone had a chance to read and discuss it's contents. Most of Congress passed a bill without even knowing what the Republican committee may have slipped into it.

How about provisions for auditing? We've lost countless billions in Iraq due to a complete lack of fiscal auditing.

Halliburton, et.al. already have contractors ready and waiting on the Gulf Coast, hands reached out, waiting for that 51 billion.

How do we know if even a dime of it will actually benefit the victims of Katrina? I haven't read a thing about the bill's provisions in the paper.

Posted by: yehaw! | Sep 10, 2005 11:11:29 AM

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